Remember when John Chaney had Temple atop the Atlantic 10 and ranked in the top 25 nationally every year? Well, it’s happening again, only Fran Dunphy is in charge.
In four years at the helm, Dunphy has led the Owls to three straight A-10 championships. Last year, the Owls won 29 games and were ranked in the top 15. And it may not be much different this season.
Lavoy Allen and Juan Fernandez return to the lead the Owls, who were picked by A-10 coaches as the preseason favorite to win the conference.
Allen, who averaged 11.5 points and 10.7 rebounds per game last season, spent the summer playing against NBA superstars on the Team USA Select Team.
“You’re not sure if it’s the USA Basketball that was a great benefit to him or if it’s just a year more of maturity,” Dunphy said about Allen. “But he’s learning who he is one year down the line, so it’s probably a combination of the two. But I think it helped him.”
Fernandez, who averaged 12.6 points while shooting 45.3 percent from three-point range, will make the transition to point guard. Will the move affect Fernandez’s scoring?
“It could affect it,” said Dunphy. “But we might have possessions where we send him down to the baseline and run him off 11 screens and, hopefully, by the time he gets in a gap, he makes a play.”
Allen is one of just two seniors on the Temple roster. It’s time for him to step up as a leader and dominant force.
“He wants to be better,” Dunphy said. “I can finally see that he wants to be the best player on the team.”